Improv by Amy Friend

We are so excited to present Improv, a new fabric line by Amy Friend of During Quiet Time for Benartex/Contempo and a coordinating Aurifil thread box! Improv marks Amy’s debut collection and we love that the prints lend themselves so perfectly to the beauty of her quilt designs. Greys, Peaches, and Golds are perfectly offset by Deep Rose hues and the absolutely perfect shade of Green… Chartreuse! Fans of Amy’s work know her for her unique use of solids to create modern quilted masterpieces. This new fabric line plays off of Amy’s love for solids, introducing mini prints as a wonderful range of blenders. Her coordinating thread collection is a perfect companion but also represents Amy’s go-to colors for her everyday quilting. These collections are on our Summer must-sew list!

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Improv
100% Aurifil Cotton, 12 Large Spools, 50wt (1422yds/spool)
Colors included:
1147 – 2455 – 2452 – 6723 – 2420 – 2600
2610 – 1246 – 2125 – 2021 – 2315 – 4060

To view this info on our website, click here. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

THE INTERVIEW
What first drew you to to the world of sewing and quilting?

I grew up in a house where the sewing machine table was a piece of living room furniture, frequently opened up and used by my mom to sew clothing and costumes. My mom taught me all my basic sewing skills at a young age. It wasn’t until I left my job as a museum curator to stay home with my kids that I discovered the modern quilting movement online and taught myself to quilt.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
I think I must draw on my both my studio art training and my art history background when I create but I do so unknowingly. I most often find creative inspiration in nature, in my doodles made while on hold, and while on my morning walks.

How did you first connect with Benartex and what do you love about working with them? Benartex reached out to me as they were hoping to grow their modern fabric design branch, Contempo. I have very much enjoyed getting to know the other Contempo designers, Amanda Murphy and Cherry Guidry, who made me feel right at home at Quilt Market!

Tell us about Improv. What inspired the designs?
My designs are small scale, modern blenders. These are the types of prints that I like to use in my quilt designs. They are geometric and modern, read as solids, and work wonderfully for paper piecing. A few designs read as a cohesive background when cut up with paper piecing seams. Another design was made with fussy cutting in mind! Also, I love gradients so I created a few gradients in prints.

Do you have a favorite project or projects made with the collection?
I really love my new Triangle Toss Quilt pattern made up in this collection and designed with my improv paper piecing technique. I also love the Snowdrop pillow. Each new project becomes my favorite!

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I had to look this one up (something I love about blogs–they provide a great record!). I first used Aurifil in 2011 and I haven’t looked back. I love the fine 50 weight for flat seams when piecing. I also use it for quilting because I like my piecing to be the first thing you see and the quilting to blend a bit. The thread comes in beautiful colors and the sheen is gorgeous.

How did you go about selecting colors for Improv and what excites you most about releasing the collection to the world?
I knew I needed a gradient in grey created with a series of prints. I also needed a couple of soft neutrals that included a light cinnamon color. Then I selected colors based on the quilts I have made over the last year or so. I wanted to keep with colors that were true to my taste and that I actually used frequently.

AMY’s BOOKS

GIVEAWAY

To enter-to-win Amy’s Improv thread collection AND a bundle of Improv by Amy Friend for Benartex click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 26! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, July 27. Good luck!

FUN LINKS
Improv Thread Collection
Improv Fabric Collection
Improv Blog Hop & a Free Pattern
Owl Pillow
Improv Blog Tour Kick Off and Interview

ABOUT AMY
WebsiteBlogFacebookInstagramTwitter — Shop

Amy Friend is a former museum collections curator turned designer and modern quilter. She has authored two books published by Lucky Spool Media: Intentional Piecing and Improv Paper Piecing. Improv is her first fabric collection, newly released with Contempo, a division of Benartex. Amy enjoys lecturing and teaching in hopes of spreading her love of paper piecing and modern quilt design!

 

** Images, biographical text and interview text by Amy Friend

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Aurifil 2017 July Designer of the Month Shruti Dandekar

2017 Aurifil DOM July Shruti Dandekar collage.jpg

I’m Designer, Author, Talk Show host Pat Sloan.

color-wheel-2.png

This year we are celebrating the rainbow of colors in our color wheel. Each designer is assigned a color to create their block in.

Now we land on True ORANGE, such a happy color and no better person for this than Shruti Dandekar! I have known her as an online friend for many years. She is a quilt designer that embraced the internet early!

Shruti and I chatted on my talk show 7/18/16, take a listen

Aurifil 2017 Designers of the month fabrics july.JPG

Fabric combos swirl around the color wheel for our Aurifil Design team this year! I love seeing the combinations all together!

Alex Portrait.jpg

Shruti brilliant with portraits. When she as our Brand manager, Alex Veronelli, if she could create his portrait, the results are brilliant! Shruti teaches you how to do this in her book and workshops.

Missed a month?

CLICK FOR PRIOR DESIGNER interviews

Remember we have a Challenge portion of our Designer of the Month interview.

Each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 spool BOX of Aurifil threadfor just making the challenge block and sharing it at my website! (details at the end plus last month’s winner!)

Let’s get to know Shruti!

Continue reading

Coming Up Roses: Penny in the City

Penny in the City by Kate Brennan

We were thrilled when the amazing team at Penny Rose Fabrics asked if we’d like to join in on Jill Finley‘s Coming Up Roses blog tour. You see, we love Jill. ❤ Not just because she is one of our treasured Aurifil Designers, but because she is an incredibly talented fabric designer, quilter, maker, and generally an all around lovely person. Also, Coming Up Roses, her latest line with Penny Rose, is absolutely stunning. Just look at these feature prints!!

While we don’t have a new thread collection to coordinate with Coming Up Roses, we were happy to see that some of the colors from her Meadow Sweets collection work incredibly well! Take a peek at those colors right here.

To feature Jill’s fabrics, we turned to Aurifil’s own Kate Brennan, based in our Chicago office. Kate is a talented quilter with a keen eye for color and pairing patterns. She focused on Jill’s blue colorway, opting for the Roses Main, Roses Vine, Roses Hexi, and Roses Buds prints and added in a few Riley Blake coordinates with Swiss Dot Tone on Tone White & Confetti Cottons Color Riley Royal Blue. Kate says that she loves working with Riley Blake fabrics and is particularly taken with this collection. It has a lot of flexibility, a good range of scale and color in patterns, featured saturated solids, and is super high quality.

She grabbed a spool of Aurifil 6735 (Plumtastic) in 50wt for piecing and quilting and added in a spool of 2783 (Medium Delft Blue) in 40wt for additional quilting.

While Kate did not use a pattern to make Penny in the City she did use a Mariner’s Compass Ruler from Robin Ruth Design. The ruler allowed her to achieve a stunning Mariner’s compass block by strip-piecing.

We are in LOVE with Kate’s finished wall hanging and had so much fun checking out her photos of the piece around the city of Chicago. 😉 (with a bit of added help from her daughters!)

Coming Up Roses will be available in stores soon!  Make sure to check out the fabulous free Simple Circles Quilt pattern by Andy Knowlton, shared last week and keep an eye on the blogs below for more great projects and patterns to come!
COMING UP ROSES BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
July 6:  Andy Knowlton / A Bright Corner
July 13:  Aurifil / Auribuzz
July 20:  Amy Chappell / Ameroonie Designs
July 27:  Carrie Burnett / Beri Bee Designs
Aug 3:  Kari Steiger / That’s-Sew-Kari
Aug 10:  Kimberly Einmo / Kimbery Einmo Designs

HANDY LINKS
Coming Up Roses Fabric by Jill Finley for Riley Blake Designs
Meadow Sweets by Jill Finley for Aurifil in Large & Small
All about Jill Finley & Jillily Studios
Robin Ruth Design, Mariner’s Compass Rulers

Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot: June

Welcome to Month 6 of our Stitch the 2012 DOM Reboot! We are halfway there and guessing you have a nice little stack of fabulous hand-stitched blocks. If you are just joining us, we’re presenting a brand new version of one of our 2012 blocks on the last Thursday of every month. We’ve been loving the opportunity to work on our hand-stitching, particularly because it’s a fabulous beach or picnic activity! Where are you taking your hand-stitching this Summer?

Continue reading

Aurifil for AGF: Bari J & Pat Bravo

It’s our final day for our Aurifil for AGF blog series! We’ve so enjoyed introducing you to all of the amazingly talented designers of Art Gallery Fabrics. We have two more to share with you today and we’re pretty darn excited!

Back in 2015, we launched Aurifil thread boxes to match with the identity of each Art Gallery Fabrics designer. The best thing about this is that the threads aren’t specific to one fabric collection but rather were selected to match a designer’s signature palette. With that in mind, these collections work just as well with the brand new fabric collections as they did with those that released back in 2015. Pretty amazing, right? We hope you enjoy hearing more about these fabulous women AND don’t miss our super sweet giveaway! It will stay open for 1 more week!

Today, we meet Bari J and the heart and soul of Art Gallery Fabrics, Pat Bravo!

Continue reading

Aurifil for AGF: April Rhodes & Amy Sinibaldi

We’re in week 2 of our Aurifil for AGF blog series! This week, we’re introducing you to a few more of the talented designers of Art Gallery Fabrics. Back in 2015, we launched Aurifil thread boxes to match with the identity of each Art Gallery Fabrics designer. The best thing about this is that the threads aren’t specific to one fabric collection but rather were selected to match a designer’s signature palette. With that in mind, these collections work just as well with the brand new fabric collections as they did with those that released back in 2015. Pretty amazing, right? We hope you enjoy hearing more about these fabulous women AND don’t miss our super sweet giveaway!

Today, we meet Amy Sinibaldi and April Rhodes, two fabulous designers for Art Gallery Fabrics.

Continue reading

Aurifil for AGF: Maureen Cracknell

We’re in week 2 of our Aurifil for AGF blog series! This week, we’re introducing you to a few more of the talented designers of Art Gallery Fabrics. Back in 2015, we launched Aurifil thread boxes to match with the identity of each Art Gallery Fabrics designer. The best thing about this is that the threads aren’t specific to one fabric collection but rather were selected to match a designer’s signature palette. With that in mind, these collections work just as well with the brand new fabric collections as they did with those that released back in 2015. Pretty amazing, right? We hope you enjoy hearing more about these fabulous women AND don’t miss our super sweet giveaway!

Today, we meet Maureen Cracknell of Maureen Cracknell Handmade! Her Bohemian Garden collection comes in both Large and Small boxes of 50wt thread for maximum versatility. The colors were perfectly selected to coordinate with Maureen’s Art Gallery Fabrics collections, including her newly released Soulful and Garden Dreamer collections, along with Nightfall, Fleet and Flourish, and Wild & Free. We always love seeing what Maureen is up to, whether a fun event like the Sewcial Bee Sampler, or some new and fabulous thread sketching project. Follow along with her Instagram account for all sorts of inspiration!

Continue reading

Aurifil for AGF: Sew Caroline

We’re back for week 2 of our Aurifil for AGF blog series! This week, we’ll introduce you to a few more of the talented designers of Art Gallery Fabrics. Back in 2015, we launched Aurifil thread boxes to match with the identity of each Art Gallery Fabrics designer. The best thing about this is that the threads aren’t specific to one fabric collection but rather were selected to match a designer’s signature palette. With that in mind, these collections work just as well with the brand new fabric collections as they did with those that released back in 2015. Pretty amazing, right? We hope you enjoy hearing more about these fabulous women AND don’t miss our super sweet giveaway!

Today, we meet Caroline Hulse of Sew Caroline! Her Sweet Pea collection comes in a Large box of 40wt thread and a small box of 50wt thread, both for use in so many of Caroline’s apparel and home decor projects and patterns. The colors were perfectly selected to coordinate with Caroline’s Art Gallery Fabrics collections, including her newly released Here Comes the Sun collection, Chalk and Paint, Happy Home, and Gleeful. Caroline’s Instagram feed is a burst of color and inspiration, featuring everything from charming bits of home décor to a sweet variety of maternity and children’s clothing. Caroline’s wardrobe is completely covetable and she works hard to share her tips and tutorials for how to do it yourself on her blog, Sew Caroline.

Continue reading

270 Shades of (Everything Under the Sun including) Grey

One of the things we love most about Quilt Market is the opportunity to showcase some of the gorgeous work of some very talented designers. It’s particularly exciting when we have new pieces to debut, like with this stunner by Sari Thomas of Sariditty. “270 Shades of (Everything Under the Sun including) Grey” features our 40wt thread in, you guessed it, all 270 colors! When Sari presented the idea earlier this year, we just knew it would be a beauty.

Continue reading

Aurifil for AGF: Bonnie Christine

We’re here for our final day of week 1 of our Aurifil for AGF blog series! Next week, we’ll be introducing you to more of the talented designers of Art Gallery Fabrics, to herald their work, and shine a light on their fabulous thread collections. Back in 2015, we launched Aurifil thread boxes to match with the identity of each Art Gallery Fabrics designer. The best thing about this is that the threads aren’t specific to one fabric collection but rather were selected to match a designer’s signature palette. With that in mind, these collections work just as well with the brand new fabric collections as they did with those that released back in 2015. Pretty amazing, right? We hope you enjoy hearing more about these fabulous women AND don’t miss our super sweet giveaway!

Today, we meet Bonnie Christine of Going Home to Roost! Her Going Home to Roost Essentials collection comes in both Large and Small boxes, offering our extremely versatile 50wt thread in a wonderfully warm array of colors. Going Home to Roost Essentials provides the perfect colors for use with any of Bonnie Christine’s Art Gallery Fabrics collections, including her upcoming Lambkin collection, Wonderful Things, Hello Ollie, and Forest Floor. We love following along with Bonnie Christine’s home adventures on Instagram as she and her family build a farmhouse and make a home in the woods in North Carolina.

Continue reading